It’s been a while but I’m back to the challenge! I have the tiniest reprieve between my fall/winter courses and my summer courses in which I’ve had the time to do a bit of reading. One of the books I read was Jeffrey and Sloth by Kari-Lynn Winters and illustrated by Ben Hodson. I went to the bookstore to buy this book and when I was standing in line a little boy behind me said “I know that book! It was part of Blue Spruce!” so I asked him if he liked it and he said yes but that he voted for a different one. I think the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading program is a great idea because it allows kids like that little boy at the bookstore to choose the books that they think deserve awards instead of having grownups do the choosing for them.
This book really spoke to me because although I’ve always wanted to write and I have a bit of a creative streak, sitting down with a blank page/computer screen to write something has always been a huge challenge for me. The task seems so enormous that I can’t get started and end up distracting myself with other things.
Jeffrey’s character is a believable and realistic one and his conversations with a sloth, who wants to do nothing but nap in a comfy chair with a puffy pillow and a perfect blanket, are filled with humour and references to the Canadian landscape. The group of girls in my after school program were giggling at the ordeals Jeffrey puts poor sloth through. This really is a cute new addition to Canadian children’s literature.